Behind The Brand: Cedar + Stone

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posted by jbrebner

While the dream of everlasting summer holds its appeal to most, we all know the toll that sunshine, salt and sand can take on our skin over time. For those of us that are keen to keep a glowing complexion and dewy smile well into the twilight years, Cedar + Stone are an absolute godsend. A unique company based in a cruisy beach town in Northern NSW, Cedar + Stone create lotions and potions that do good things for the environment, and even better things for our skin!

With our modern life delivering us a steady dose of synthetic fragrances and toxic chemicals, Cedar + Stone are taking a stand to give our skin some TLC with gentle yet effective ingredients. With a huge range of all-natural vegan products, Cedar + Stone make it easy to take a break from the harsh chemical load of everyday living and rediscover the soft, supple skin we’ve been missing.

With their latest range fresh on site, we caught up with Keri McKenzie, Manager at Cedar + Stone and a woman with a true passion for natural skincare and a balanced, sustainable lifestyle. She gave us exclusive insight into life at the office, the story behind the brand itself, and the benefits of holistic skincare.

Join the conversation!

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Can you tell us who you are, and your role at Cedar + Stone?
I’m Keri, the Manager of Cedar + Stone.  My role is basically to be Kate’s (owner/founder) shadow.  I am involved in all parts of pretty much every process from creating new products to packing orders.  Kate is also the same but she is a super brain when it comes to all things computers.  She creates all our websites and labels, plus knows how to computer code…yes code! She sometimes makes me feel like I should know more! Anyway, I basically stay across studio, office and manufacturing on a daily basis.

For those who don’t know, can you tell us what Cedar + Stone are all about?
We are a natural, vegan skincare company that is passionate about not only what we put on our bodies but also what is going down the drain.  We try to do the best we can for the earth and its inhabitants to the best of our ability.  Cedar + Stone are aware that it’s imperative to take time for ourselves to re-centre as much as we can to keep the work/life/family balance.  We appreciate in all things nature, sunrises, sunsets, the breeze, the moon, crystals, herbs, flowers, tides and then that transforms us into being more conscious in business.  Our ethos is that if we as humans are unbalanced then our work will be unbalanced.

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What’s your background; have you always been in the organic skincare industry?
Kate the owner has entrepreneur in her blood.  She was the former owner of children’s clothing label Three Little Trees, bag and shoe company Local and online magazine Ember.  She then turned to making her own skincare for her family to ensure she knew what she was putting on the skin of her bambinos.  For myself, I have been an avid label reader for food and skincare products for over 12 years. I’m super passionate about the raw ingredients in any products we ingest or put on ourselves so I’m stoked to be part of a conscious team trying to educate and inform.

What’s the story behind Cedar + Stone?
Kate and her sister Anna are the founders behind the brand.  Kate started making the concoctions in her home and then they went to the local markets to sell and 3 months later they were discovered through Instagram from Urban Outfitters.  It went from complete cottage to full blown business in 3 months.  Fast forward 2 years and we got some amazing investors on board.  They help us so much with all things we don’t have a clue about, and teach and guide us whenever we ask. We feel very thankful that they have come into our lives!  Anna is a bubbly, adventurous spirit always up for a laugh and a dance. Kate and her combined have created a brand that they should be so proud of. It’s a blessing to be part of their team.

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Who is Cedar + Stone?
We are a team that is driven by our passion.  We love what we do.  It really is that easy, if you love what you do then you can feel that through a product.  After all we are all just balls of energy buzzing through this limitless space.  Bottom line – energy speaks.  The aim is to portray that through our products. When we stop doing that, we need to mix it up and get back to the drawing board or a meditation mat! Our strengths are that we are a really driven team and work super hard but we still know when we need to recharge with a lunch out, extra time at the beach or traveling to somewhere new.

Where is the Cedar + Stone team based and can you run us through a day in the life at the office?
We are based in Kingscliff, a cruisy beach town in Northern NSW.  However, in January we are expanding to a bigger premises in Currumbin on the Gold Coast! Daily life in the office? Well, first thing is orders and making sure they are packed and out in time for the morning courier. We always have the herbal tea brewing and essential oil diffuser on.  At the moment we are drinking our Eye Brightening Beauty Tea, we like our daily rituals! Mostly every day is just totally different. Ill give you what happens in a usual week at work:  emails, emails, emails, product development, marketing, making products, labelling, testing, co creating with other brands, meetings and eating… we love good food!

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Your latest range is up on site now, covering a huge range of products, can you tell us about some of the products we’re seeing?
We have a huge range of over 60 products at the moment so I’ll just tick off some of our faves!

Turmeric Teeth Whitenersounds so weird but it works!  Plants are a powerful medicine and Turmeric is an example of this in a product.  Just apply the powder to your toothbrush and brush as normal; take photos before and after so you can see the plant power doing its thing!

Mens Range: We can’t leave the men out of natural skincare products – all humans love to feel nourished (not just women!), and it can be as simple as just applying a mens face oil or moisturiser after showering. It will leave you feeling fresh-faced! When we are exposed to so much sand, sun and salt, it’s important that we give a little back to our skin.

Alchemy Range: We have a range of mists called Meditation, Spiritual Protection and Energy Clearing.  Whether you’re a hippy, hipster, yogi or none of the above, we all need a bit of this in our lives.  Keep them in your handbag and car or simply use them as a room spray; they smell delicious!  We have them in the car to spray over us before we enter into a room – guaranteed every time we do this, someone comments on how good we smell – the power of essential oils never ceases to amaze me!

Who are your products made for?
We make our products for a large demographic or even no specific demographic at all.  We have done this intentionally.  We want natural products to be the ‘norm’.  So we would love everyone to use them so there are less harsh chemicals entering peoples bodies and we can all live a cleaner lifestyle.  We have a Youth, Mens, Womens and Alchemy range so there’s something in there for everyone.

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What are the products you absolutely can’t live without from the current Cedar + Stone range?
Our Lemon Myrtle & Rose Face oil.  Once you start using it, that’s it – so look out!  I absolutely can’t live without a face oil now, it makes me feel sooo fresh and nourished. Also, the Mists and Rosewater are fast becoming a must-have in my car.  I just love having them in there so that any time I need a quick refresh I can spray the rosewater on my face and Alchemy Mist in my space and it’s an instant pick-me-up.

What are the benefits of choosing a more holistic skincare regimen?
The biggest benefit is knowing that you aren’t putting anything on your skin that is a toxic chemical that will do harm.  We are sensitive creatures that can surprisingly put up with a lot of damaging behaviours but it will usually catch up with us at some stage of our lives.  So to know that you are giving your body a nourishing gift with holistic skincare is a pretty special thing.

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Lastly, what’s next for the team at Cedar + Stone – anything new/exciting on the horizon?
Soooo much.  There seems to be exciting things on the horizon constantly at the moment! What we have learned from this is to really appreciate the NOW because the future hasn’t happened yet. Relishing the NOW is the excitement at Cedar + Stone at the moment, (plus the USA trip just around the corner and the green smoothie currently in the blender!).

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To keep up to date with Keri and the C + S crew, find them on Instagram here: @cedarandstonebotanicals 

All images by River Hazel of http://www.riverhazel.com